SmartWeb Conference 2015

28 September 2015 § 0

Thanks to Arxia, last week, me and my colleague Leonard, attended the 2015 Smartweb conference. It was the 3rd edition, held in Bucharest at the JW Marriott Hotel.




The event started with a presentation from Petro Salema, Ghost in the shell, who focused on new models of human-computer interaction.

The second presentation, was held by Roy Tomeij, SASS – of the beaten path, a presentation in which he showed us a more programmatic side of SAAS, with some examples on “how to” and “how not to” use SASS. In the presentation he had a neat example on how to use SASS when you need to manipulate colors. He also presented a few fun examples with SASS using CSS animations.

The second session started with a presentation from Stephen Hay, Maintaining simplicity, a presentation focused on how unwanted complexity is added during the process of building applications. He presented some examples on how complicated are some steps, which a user has to follow, in order to get what he needs and why is it important to keep it simple so that the user can have a easy interaction with whatever your applications is offering.

After that, Tobias Ahlin followed with his presentation – A tale of talent, titles, and other discouraging delusions, in which he presented some simple examples on how applications can have and help the user interaction with some simple graphic examples.




After lunch, Soledad Penades made a fun presentation, Hands on web audio, filled with lots of audio examples and examples on how to use the Web Audio API.

Following Soledad came Heydon Pickering, with his presentation, Paper prototyping applications. He presented some fun ways to use actual paper design, during the design of an web application.

Andy Hume, started the final session with a presentation called Architecting resilient front-ends. The presentation was about how user experience can be poor because of slow loading JavaScript or missing fonts and how we can still deliver meaningful content when issues like that appear.

The final presentation was held by Christian Heilmann, The wheel is spinning, but the hamster is almost dead, where he emphasized the fact that we overcomplicate things during development and we should use the tools and the technology that applies best when developing.

Thanks to the speakers and the organizers for making this an interesting and pleasant event.


Author: Aurel Campean

ARXIA supports TYPO3 East Europe 2015

18 September 2015 § 0


This year we will take part once again at our favorite conference here in our hometown: T3EE 2015! The center theme of this year’s edition is diversity and we believe that supporting more events in the East Europe can be the key to diversify the TYPO3 community.

Our commitment as Gold Sponsor each year is to give back to the community and a recognition of the great business value that TYPO3 has always brought into our company.

Meet us this November in Cluj Napoca or be a supporter of the TYPO3 community!

Author: Tomita Militaru

Arxia Summer Camp 2015

13 July 2015 § 1

There’s a pretty exciting summer tradition we have going on each year: ARXIA Summer Camp. Working all day with your eyes pinned down to a monitor can get exhausting, no matter how many interesting projects you get involved into and that is the reason why each year we prepare, for more than 6 months, a 4 day getaway together in a semi-remote area.

It starts off with the difficult process of picking the perfect location, a process into which all team members are involved during our weekly Team Talks. Some like mountains, others like the seaside while a remote few urban city breaks, but after weighing in all the pros & cons and several voting sessions, this year’s location was Baia de Aries – a small Romanian town with a population just a bit above 5.000 habitants. It was until 2004 a mining centre extracting, mainly for base metals, with tourist objectives like the monument of nature tree known as the “Emperor’s beech” and the Muncel Monastery, but also a modest waterfall and the well conserved forests.


We rented a van (nicknamed “ARXIA mobil”) as we discovered that it is way more fun to travel the entire team in the same car and we departed ARXIA’s office on a rainy Saturday. It was a 2 hours drive from Cluj Napoca to our host pension Roua Muntelui (translation: Mountain Dew – no connection with the beverage with the same name :)

Day #1 – Arrival
Day one started with unpacking and some leisure time to accommodate with the location. The pension had a great pool, unfortunately we couldn’t use it due to bad weather. After a rich Romanian specific lunch, we played some interesting team building games.

Pool time
We got to know each other by playing “Personal Map” – a game where the team had to guess the life of a specific individual.
A team is nothing without good coordination, “The stick” showed us that working together we can accomplish so many things.
It was followed by a stormy debate about life & dead in the game “Lifeboat” – a game where we had to save people based on their profession.

All those “serious” team building games called for a bit of unwinding & what perfect way to do than to play the old childhood game “The ducks & The hunters”. Rules of the game are simple, 2 people server as hunters, surrounding the rest while trying to hit them with a ball. Last man standing is upgraded to hunter.

After a quick dinner it was Quiz time! Colleagues prepared a list of questions from various domains and we split in 5 teams – the team to get the most questions right, wins.
Ending the day was of course with a karaoke party – some colleagues showed their passion to music (and money, try to sing Bruno Mars’ – Billionaire), while others became a bit sentimental on the soundtrack of Titanic.


Day #2 – Competition day
The day after is always the hardest, but the logistics team was prepared to give a wake call to remember – army style, trumpets & knocking on doors!
A bio-friendly breakfast charged our batteries as it turned out we would need lots of energy & creativity for the Photo Hunting competition. I’d say this is the most exciting game we play each year, we split in teams and receive the same list of items to photograph – from “ducks crossing the street” to “darkness”.

Next game was inspired from Lord of the rings I guess, but we were surprised to find out that some colleagues do have experience or even own a bow – in our “Archery” games. Rule is simple – hit a bottle as many times as possible & your team wins. Not even our freshly operated colleague could stand this game out!
Lunch & leisure time followed the games, but even some pool time as the weather started to improve and our colleagues do love some quality time in the pool.

They say coding is much like art, well the next game we had to go through truly proved it. “Movie time” requested that we draw a random topic and in 20 minutes we had to come up with a script & also film it, no props, only the objects we wound surrounding the pension. Topics ranged from politics to showbiz, we would publish the videos, but we won’t want to hard the artistic integrity of your colleagues ;)

Our coordination skills were once again put up to a challenge it the games “Ski on grass”. Your team would be tied to the same 2 wooden boards while you “run” against an opponent team & time. A video can be seen on your Facebook page.

What is a camp without some sport? We’re proud to have over a quarter of our team composed of girls, but more importantly, girls which didn’t back out of a “Football” game! Teams fought for the ARXIA cup and luckily no red cards were handed during the game.

Life can get dizzy with summer heat, lots of tasks, errands, but not as dizzy as we got in the game “Jump around”. Spin around a stick 10 times, run 10 meters and at the end drink a beer, all timed. Fastest team not fall / throw up wins!
We ended the day with a Mexican themed party or as we called “Fiesta party”. Everyone had to improvise a mexican / spanish inspired outfit and move their body on some bachata rhythm.


Day #3 – Know each other
Everyone woke up on some Balkan music, thanks to the “wake up” agents – a delightful morning & breakfast.
Our CEO kicked-off the day with ARXIA’s long term strategy – the importance of knowing where our company is going and that we are on the same boat, trying to get to the same destination. Afterwards, we started discovering each team members’ vision of a perfect team by finding top 5 common characteristics.

“Moving Motivators” helped us discover what motivates us, but more importantly to learn about other’s motivation when working together. Each individual had to rate a list of 10 words related to motivation.
Our cooking skill were challenged in the food contest “Bake a bread”. Each team had to bake a letter of the word ARXIA, but also to make sure it tastes really special. We had to vote the best bread and of course compose our company logo with … bread!

As we got used, we finished the day with a party until the dawn.

Day #4 – Departure
After 3 days in a row partying, waking up in the 4th morning proved to be hard, but not impossible. Everyone started to pack their baggages and we headed towards Turda Gorge for some daytime trail hiking. Turda Gorge (Cheile Turzii in Romanian) is a natural reserve (on Hășdate River) situated 6 km west of Turda and about 15 km south-east of Cluj-Napoca, in Transylvania, Romania. The canyon, formed through the erosion of the Jurassic limestone of the mountain, is 2 900 m long and the walls have heights reaching 300 m. The total surface of the canyon is of 324 ha. Cheile Turzii contain one of the richest and most scenic karst landscapes in Romania. More than 1000 plant and animal species (some of them rare or endangered, like the wild garlic or some species of eagle) live here.


We had lunch at the entrance of the gorge and everyone boarded back home to Cluj Napoca after 4 magical days of fun & new insights.



Author: Tomita Militaru

T3Rookies @ARXIA

9 July 2015 Comments Off

For one week, our office was the host of 4 young developers from Germany. It all started when Andrea Herzog-Kienast, founder of T3Rookies, contact us to share her idea of rookies in the big TYPO3 Community. The idea was to receive 4 German rookies at our office for one week during which they should work on a TYPO3 project and, doing so, extending their TYPO3 knowledge, but more importantly, experience how it is to work in a team. The project would be nicknamed “T3Rookies Summer Camp”.

We were immediately excited about the ideea and accepted the challenge. In exchange, we also searched for a Romanian rookie to take part in the project and live & work in Germany for one week. Our rookie – Alex, who did not work so far with TYPO3, is involved in a nice project, “Today Software Magazine”, which publishes a monthly magazine and holds events for the programming community from Cluj. We wanted him to have a nice experience with TYPO3 and thus further spread the word in Cluj.

Choosing the project turned out to be easier than we thought because we keep a close contact with various charity organizations that help children from the poor rural areas or orphans & abandoned kids. This is how we met Aksza Foster House in December 2014, our colleagues met the children and we gave them Christmas gifts, but we decided we wanted to help them further. Aksza did not have a website and for them it was important to able to share their message on the internet. So, since we are good in making websites, it was a natural choice to help them this way and get involved the rookies in a good cause.


We had a great time hosting the Rookies for a week and working together with them.We were happy to see many of our colleagues involved in helping the Rookies with the project, but also in social activities, as the Summer Camp is also a good moment to share cultural experiences, for the Rookies to know more about Cluj and Romania, to have fun, and for our people to know more about the life of a young developer in Germany. Outside work activities included visit Turda Salt Mine, bowling, eat sushi and movie-evenings.


Building a website from first contact with the client until delivery to production server has passed rookies through all the challenges a project faces, from conflicts to the value of good team communication & synchronization.

It was a good experience, it was fun, it was rewarding and it was a success. We also learned some things about how we could organize the camp better in the upcoming editions, and for sure we want to move forward next year and participate in an even larger TYPO3 Rookies program, which hopefully will gather more Rookies and more agencies from all over Europe.


T3Rookies Summer Camp

7 May 2015 Comments Off

Did you know about T3Rookies? This is a new project, initiated and coordinated with great enthusiasm by Andrea Herzog. The purpose is to gather students and young people, help them integrate in the big TYPO3 community and provide them opportunities, logistics and support to become the developers and contributors of the TYPO3 future.

Arxia is proud to support this project and will offer this summer, from 27th of June – 4th of July 2015 a hands-on training to 6 T3Rookies. We prepared a nice project: a website for a foster home in Cluj, named Aksza. The Rookies will have the opportunity to meet those kids, with ages from 7 to 20 years and focus on learning and school (the oldest one is a student) and create a website from start to end: to conceive the site’s concept, design and content (in 4 languages: English, Romanian, Hungarian and German), of course to implement the site and to optimize it for search engines. The website should be ready and live at the end of the week, so there will be some intensive work (but don’t worry, no more than 6 hours per day), but rewarded in the free time with the great pubs, clubs and bars of Cluj Napoca (which is, this year, awarded with the title European Youth Capital).

And we have a surprize for the attendees: in the same period (25-28 June), one of the best music events in Romania is taking place near Cluj Napoca: Electric Castle



Remember T3EE 2014

15 April 2015 Comments Off

TYPO3 East Europe 2015 has been announced and it will be held on the 13th-14th of November. It is now a good time to remember the previous edition, T3EE 2014.

T3EE 2014 was the second edition of this event, initially started in 2013, its goal was to bring together developers, agencies and community members, from all around Europe. Also this year, Arxia is volunteering the organization of T3EE 2015.

Predating the main event, on Thursday we had a workshop at the Casino Urban Culture Center, organized by Arxia in partnership with the Cluj-Napoca City Hall and Cluj IT Cluster. The workshop focused on sustainable software solutions for the public administration, fostering a dialogue between the institutions from our region and our guests from Germany and the Netherlands, who shared their experiences and best practices in e-government, the use of open standards and web accessibility.



In the evening we had a welcome dinner held at the Matei Corvin restaurant, where we indulged ourselves with tasty local dishes and drinks.


The main event started on Friday morning, at the Golden Tulip Ana Dome Hotel. At the entrance, the Halloween atmosphere was given to the participants by a vampire, which offered some “blood”, to loosen up a bit.


After the opening ceremony, presented by Daniel Homorodean, the presentations started with a speech made by Rens Admiraal entitled “The current state of TYPO3 Neos + the short term roadmap”. The event continued with talks about community software, NEOS and TYPO3 CMS.


After the talks ended, everybody prepared for the main party, the Halloween party, held at Casa TIFF, in a Halloween theme decorated cellar. There you could find: witches, clowns, dark angels, vampires, scuba divers, Frankenstein and even Batman joined the party. Like all the others T3EE parties, we had a great time, with plenty of food, drinks (open bar, how else?) and had a lot of fun together till the break of dawn.


The second day started at 10 AM, in the same location, this time on two session tracks. On this day the topics were more diverse, with talks like the TYPO3 Campus Project, Atomic development, WebGL – 3D World in your Browser and so on.


For the afterparty we went out to a brewery, formerly a local beer factory – Fabrica de Bere Ursus – where as usual we had a good time, shared experiences and talk about different things concerning the TYPO3 world.

All in all, it was another great event, where everybody came together, shared their thoughts, opinions and experiences.

We expect to see you all and experience our future T3EE events!

jQuery UK 2015

11 March 2015 Comments Off

Last week, thanks to Arxia, I was one of the lucky 700 participants who attended the jQuery UK conference. This yearly event is the largest front-end developer conference in the UK.


The event started with a presentation held by Dave Methvin, the President of the jQuery Foundation, about  ES6 is the answer! What was the problem?. He talked about the new features of ECMAScript 6, that is the next version of the standard expected to be released in mid 2015, and how we can start using this new standard and converting the code using different transpilers, for instance babel, to compile the code into ECMAScript 5 code for browsers that do not support the standard ECMAScript 6. In the second presentation, called mdoular CSS, Mark Otto, the co-creator of Bootstrap, showcased ten guidelines on how to write better CSS.

After the coffee break Soledad Penadés with her presentation The cure for your Web Components hangover demonstated how to make our code more readable and expressive , easier to run and to maintain by using Web Components. In his talk, DevTools State of the Union, Addy Osmani introduced  us the new features of the Chrome DevTools such as paint profiling, animation inspection and updates to the JavaScript editing workflow with V8. Alice Bartlett demonstrated us in her presentation Bin your <select> some alternatives to select boxes in order to meet the needs of less technically skilled users as well as the solution that GOV.UK came up with as a response to this issue.

After lunch, Andy Hume delivered the presentation Architecting resilient front-ends on how to architect client-side code for resilience and how to overcome slow-loading JavaScript or never-loading web fonts that block page render. In her talk, Anything you can paint, I can program better, Jenn Schiffer some projects that she started in order to learn about art, by recreating popular paintings with JavaScript.

The last session started with Estelle Weyl’s presentation about HTML5 Web Forms. She gave us an introduction on some newer form features provided for native date pickers, place holder text, pattern matching, required fields, auto focus, error handling and providing for the right keyboard on smartphones, all without JavaScript. Alex Sexton demonstrated in his presentation, Hacking front-end apps, how to use protective measures for writing secure web apps. The conference ended with Ben Foxall’s demo: Real world jQuery, about how to interact and gather information from our environment.

A big “Thank you” goes to the organizers of the conference for the impeccable organisation and also to the speakers for their very interesting talks!

 Author: Leonard Keresztesi

FAL Code Sprint 2015

15 February 2015 Comments Off

At the end of January I attended to FAL Code Sprint in Essen , organized at the initiative of Andrea Herzog. The result of 3 working days is 71 fixed FAL issues which were merged to the Core. The event was focused on involving new people in the contribution process. T3Rookies involvement was appreciated and they had a great contribution on testing fixed issues and reporting some new ones (that were of course also fixed).

I had a great feeling to know that my work is part of something so important as TYPO3 and it will be used by so many people to create websites. To be sincere, at the beginning I was also kind of scared, as it was my first participation to such an event: I wanted to make a contribution, not only to participate – can I make something useful? But in the end I had 3 great days of coding and deep learning about TYPO3 Core and I was impressed by the focus on writing quality code and testing. I also want to thank Mathias Schreiber, Frans Saris and Fabien Udriot for their help and guidance in terms of code and good practice.
A bonus was the pleasure to talk with people that I already knew, but also to meet some new nice people.

Check more on

 Author: Alina Fleșer

Christmas gifts for needy children

11 December 2014 Comments Off

Christmas is approaching fast and with it, the magic of the holiday season is installed, together with the desire to bring joy and happiness to their loved ones.

Guided by the wise words of Emanuel Swedenborg, “True charity is the desire to be useful to others without thought of receiving a reward“, at the beginning of December, we decided to put a smile on the face of children from an orphanage. Our desire was to make them forget, even if just for a moment, about the difficulties they face every day.

This year we focused on the orphanage “House for street children – Aksza“, which houses 20 children aged between 7 and 20 years.

We had an exciting experience because we met some very special children who wanted nothing more than the barely minimum they needed. They enjoyed our visit as much as we did helping them and they rewarded us with a very nice carol.

We thank them for the very warm welcoming they showed us.


T3CON14 and the CMS revolution

22 October 2014 Comments Off

We are living great times, an era transformed by the internet, the easy reach to information, the power of communication that enhances our experiences, weather we work, we study, we shop or we just have fun. Already always connected, through many devices and interfaces, assaulted by channels that transmit us information, emotion, persuasion, in a permanent state of “new” which we incorporate fast into our lives, can we envision what tomorrow will bring ? Can we, as individual web developers and web agencies, be part and drive this accelerated evolution, instead of reactively adapt to the new trends ?

This year at the TYPO3 Conference in Berlin, I felt enlightened by the feeling that I am in the best possible industry right now – the inspired presenters, the great people of the TYPO3 community, everybody was energized by this acknowledgement: the web transforms, we are transforming it, we ride the wave of change, or if we are not doing it yet, we should get up there fast.


The nhow hotel, the inspiring location of the conference

Far from being a complete review, this is a collection of notes from the presentations that I could attend and from the discussion that I had during the first 2 days of the conference.

The T3CON14 was opened by Kasper Skårhøj, once again back on stage in front of the community that he has started years ago. Well witted and inspiring, he reminded us a powerful thing: When time passed over us, we don’t remember and don’t value the “hard work” that we did, but the fun that we had, the passion that we put on what we like, the value that we create in the world. When you put passion, you create great things. Thus, follow your bliss, even if sometimes this leads to changes in your path. And do what you like, so that you never “work” again.


Ric van Westhreenen told us that if we are embracing responsive webdesign we are stupid :) A bit puzzled at first, I ended in agreement. We should do websites for the users, not for the screens. We would be stupid if we just re-organize the information to fit on the screens of any device, without considering the user experience, the context in which he is using the website, the path towards his goal. In the last years, we moved fast through the necessary steps: the responsive design to fit the websites on all the screens of the devices, the adaptive design considers the specific presentation of information and functionality adapted for the device, and now towards the situational design, that considers the context in which you use the website: on the road with poor signal, in the shop trying to compare reviews of products, or at home relaxed in front of your big screen, your needs and possibilities are different, and the websites should “know” this.

I knew that we are in for a great talk when Rasmus Skjoldan took the stage to tell us about building digital experiences with TYPO3 Neos, a product greatly influenced by his vision of moving beyond the boundaries of the “old ways” of presenting structured content through which you navigate in the browser, seeing language as the only relevant target user segmentation. There are no boundaries for information, we should not resume to be web centric, or even worse, think in “pages” and “content trees”, but we would greatly benefit if we are ready to provide complete digital experienced, through all media, to everybody.

From Morten Gade we received the provocation to remove the “management” from the “CMS”. Through our websites, we target our audience through the content, which after all creates the competitive difference for the end users. Emphasizing the “management” could hinder the freedom of good, relevant content creation . A CMS, or better said a CS ( a “Content System”) should be “a tool that allows us to develop ideas, to produce, to cooperate”, a platform for the facilitation of better content, which “should adapt to the organizational context of the producer” instead of setting structured boundaries. The system which allows the content creators to unleash their potential will be a clear winner of the the future market.
For Timour Chafik, the reality is a mosaic of stories. And so it is for all of us, thus we should always remember this when we create websites and their content, marketing campaigns, advertising and anything else that has the purpose to engage our target. Stories are everywhere, and sometimes we might forget that in our companies, as in any company, “there are people who have stories that are waiting to be told”. This is a huge potential that we should be smart to use when we create any project, as from the free flow of ideas and stories that are shared we can generate innovative approaches and ultimately create projects and products that matter for our users, not just from the informative perspective, but also create emotion, inspire, engage them, lead them to identify themselves with the “story” that we are telling.

From a general perspective to something more concrete, TYPO3 Neos received a well deserved focus on several talks, as while the entire CMS market is about to enter a revolution, we in the TYPO3 community are already living one, through Neos.

As Robert Lemke ensured us, we will soon have the translation support at our hands in the upcoming 1.2 version, in fact we could already seen it at work during his presentation, in a real project. While Neos is still not spread out as people might still wait for the promised features from 1.2 and 1.3, there are no doubts for the ones who already started to use it that also from the development perspective it brings a solid advantage. It is much easy to learn than the TYPO3 CMS, in fact we saw ourselves at Arxia and through the public workshop that we did in Cluj for fellow web programmers that getting into Neos and doing a first project is quite easy and does not even require prior knowledge of TYPO3 CMS ( though it helps of course ). And after the first projects done, we should be able to state, as Robert does, that “the speed of development is higher with Neos”, once you’ve passed the learning phase.

I was eagerly looking to see a real large scale Neos project, so I welcomed the showcase of, a site done for the largest and oldest political party in Denmark. With over 10,000 members who can manage their own profile, generate and change information, this was a big challenge to prove that anyone, without prior technical knowledge, would be able to start working with the content with ease just after their first login, without reading manuals and spending hours in training.

An interesting talk from Martin Helmich showed us that there are possibilities to automate the migration from a TYPO3 CMS instance to TYPO3 Neos. Well, at least some automation is possible, making easier for the developers to start from something instead of doing everything from scratch once again. As the interest will raise in this type of migration I the future, we should expect to see more mature tools, moving further from the stage of prototype, which will help us undertake this challenge.


The CMS to Neos migration mapping

This was the first T3CON where I saw talks about outsourcing. Maybe from some of the audience the subject is new, especially the presentation of the top problems that agencies are facing when contracting work abroad. Misscomunication or lack of communication and quality level ranked on top of the issues. For us, as long time TYPO3 outsourcing providers, there were no surprises, as we know the issues and overheads that both sides are facing during an outsourcing relationship, and when such a relation is not treated with responsibility and engagement for a long term perspective, things might turn wrong.

Weather during the presentations, or while talking with the people in the coffee breaks and social events, I have found out that there are already more and more agencies who work with Neos and with Flow, that there are already large projects launched, some maybe more discrete as they were not publicly presented yet, and there are even more in the making. This was a very encouraging sign for me, proving that Arxia did the right thing by starting to work with Neos and Flow in production from the beginning of 2014.

As we all know, there is much more to a T3CON than just the presentations. It was great to meet people, discussing during coffee breaks and at social events, learning what others are doing and talking about the future of TYPO3, the trends, the challenges, the community, the events and the projects. I was also pleased to see that many people knew already about the TYPO3 East Europe ( ) event that we are organizing in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. I liked a lot finding out about Andrea Herzog’s “TYPO3 Rookies” project, which aims to integrate faster into the TYPO3 world the youngsters, interns and developers who are just starting their career. After all TYPO3 is about community, its people, their willingness to contribute, to have initiatives and to start projects, to create events, to move things forward, all joined in a partnership culture, supporting the development of the platforms from which we all benefit.

In all, T3CON14 was a great event, bringing a lot of inspiration about the future that we are called to shape, about the perspectives of the TYPO3 product family and the TYPO3 community.

 Author: Daniel Homorodean